A helping hand during very difficult times


Colombia, Barbacoas. Barbacoas, has been heavily affected by armed conflict. And, as in many places around the world, the pandemic led to increased violence against women and made access to care and justice more difficult.

A UN Women led project funded by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), implemented by Fundeas and local municipalities, aims to strengthen the  response to gender-based violence. Resilience kits with emergency aid, food, hygiene kits were delivered to women-headed households, alongside education materials with information on referrals for violence, food security, and COVID-19 prevention.

“It’s not easy now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, when the cost of food and other items has increased, and many of us don’t have a permanent job,” said Ananis Caroline Cortes Henao, who received some of the supplies.

Updating the care routes for women affected by violence has also been necessary. Training was delivered to civil servants and local leaders to ensure they knew the system and could refer people effectively. “[These are] topics [one can] put into practice with one’s community and with one’s own family,” noted Estella Segura, a local leader in Barbacoas.

The project provides technical assistance and equipment for the shelter for women victims in Pasto, guaranteeing access to women with disabilities and prioritizing women from Barbacoas and Pasto, to provide care and protection for women throughout the region.

“For me, this humanitarian aid has been a support. Women are going through very difficult times in Barbacoas due to the pandemic. These grants are a helping hand for us as well as for our families,” said Cristina Castillo, a woman who participated in the project.